Two sitting Assam MLAs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party — Dilip Kumar Paul and Shiladitya Dev — resigned from the party on Thursday after they were denied tickets to contest the coming Assembly elections in the state.
Weeks ahead of the Assembly polls, Silchar MLA Dilip Kumar Paul and his Hojai counterpart Shiladitya Dev quit the saffron party on Wednesday. Both of them have announced to contest the Assembly elections as Independent candidates.
Paul was elected to the Assam Assembly in the 2014 by-elections. He won again in the 2016 state polls to become the Deputy Speaker, while Dev, an RSS member, was elected to the House for the first time in 2016.
The BJP this time nominated Dipayan Chakraborty for the Silchar Assembly constituency, while Ramakrishna Ghosh has been fielded from Hojai. Both the constituencies are dominated by Bengali speaking people.
Talking to the media, Paul accused Silchar Lok Sabha MP Rajdeep Roy of ‘dividing’ the BJP members.
In 2018, after serving two years as the Deputy Speaker in the Assam Assembly, Paul had submitted his resignation.
Dev told the media in Hojai: “Finally, I have been kicked out from the BJP. I am now a free man from tomorrow (Thursday), I will start a new political journey.”
He also criticised the BJP’s state leadership.
A BJP leader in Guwahati, who did not wish to be named, said: “The performance of Dev and Paul was not satisfactory. In the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, the BJP did not secure the expected number of votes in the two Assembly segments.”